NALBARI, Jan 28 - Renowned Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee stage artiste Mancha Surya Dharani Barman passed away at his own residence at Balipathar near Chamata in Nalbari district around 9.35 this morning due to old-age ailments. He was 91.
As the news of his demise spread, hundreds of his followers arrived at his residence to last respect to their beloved artiste. His body was taken to various institutions of the locality before the funeral rites.
Born in 1926 at Rupiya Bathan village in Nalbari district, Barman completed his primary education at Chamata Milon Primary School. After completing his metric examination from the Cotton Collegiate High School, he got himself admitted to City College of the then Calcutta. But he could not complete higher education due to communal clashes that broke out in Calcutta. He came back and worked his father�s shop in Guwahati. He later set up a timber business on his own. In 1953, late Barman established Dharmapur Silpi Sangha, a cultural organization and performed the play �Piyali Phukan�. He then joined the Nataraj Opera in 1960. In 1963 he performed at Nataraj Theatre as a main actor. Barman founded the Suradevi Natya Sangha which was turned into Suradevi Theatre in 1967. He got in touch with Bishnu Prasad Rabha and Brajen Baruah as they acted in Suradevi Theatre.
The Mancha Surya was most popular for his performances in the plays �Sambalar abhisap�, Saru bowari, dangar bowari�, �Banaria phool�, �Amar ghar� , �Eti paisa�, among others.
The State Government in 1997 granted him Silpi pension for his contributions. In recognition of his contributions to mobile theatre, he was presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2004. He was also conferred Mancha Surya and Nalbari Ratna titles by National Falgu Utsav and Nalbari Jilla Sahitya Sabha respectively.
He leaves behind his wife, three sons and three daughters, besides a host of relatives. His death was widely mourned by various organizations. His last rites were performed in the front yards of his residence.
CM condoles Barman�s death: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has mourned the death of noted playwright Dharani Barman who breathed his last today, an official press release said
In a condolence message, Chief Minister Sonowal stated that the contributions of late Barman to the field of theatre of the State will always be remembered. Sonowal termed Barman as one of the best pioneers of drama in Assam and said that his memories would always remain alive in the State�s cultural arena.
The Chief Minister also expressed his deepest sympathies with the bereaved family.